Friday, December 18, 2009

What a Hoot!

I know that for some of you bloggers who live on acres and acres of land, hearing an owl is a somewhat common occurrence. But for us living in an urban neighborhood, it is magical.

A few nights ago I came home late from work. It was pitch dark, cold and windy outside as I was talking to my kitties as they followed me up the porch stairs. Something caught my ear and I froze. Great Caesar's Ghost, I think that was an owl!! You see, I've lived in my neighborhood for almost 12 years now and have only heard one Screech owl during one summer 11 years ago.

This was no Screech owl. It started hooting and I hooted back. Silence. Then it hooted again, this time a little closer. I hooted again. Silence. Silence. Silence. Just when I thought it must have flown away it hooted again. I almost jumped out of my shoes as it must have been in the tree right next to me. I crazily reached for my cell phone to call my neighbors and was trying to hoot and dial their number at the same time. Well, the owl must have realized I was hooting under false pretenses since I looked up towards the tree just in time to see him fly off to the back yard. By this time my neighbors came by and we were treated to another five minutes of hooting, along with a very distant hoot coming from the woods across the street.

As soon as I got in my house I called my niece Meagan, who is a naturalist, hooted to her over the phone and she immediately recognized it as a Barred Owl. How cool is that!!

Check out this link to see a short video of a Barred Owl and hear his amazing call.

(photo of Barred Owl courtesy of All About Birds website at Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

Isn't he/she just magnificent! Hearing this owl really made my week!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Presents for Paws

Sorry for the "Locals Only" nature of this post, but I wanted to let anyone in the DC area who might read my blog know about this wonderful program at my local shelter.

(From the Washington Animal Rescue League's website)

For many in the Washington metropolitan area, the holidays have always imposed a strain on an already stretched family budget. With the economic crisis, this is now more true than ever. The Washington Animal Rescue League hopes to ease their burden through Presents for Paws, its annual pet food and toy drive through which low-income individuals and families receive free supplies for their pets at this particularly difficult time.

In the weeks before the holidays, the League is collecting donations of pet food, treats, toys, dog and cat beds, and cat scratching pads. The recipients are all participants in the League’s Rescuers’ Food Bank, a year-round collection and distribution program that helps low-income residents of the District of Columbia care for their dogs and cats.

“For over 90 years, the League has been working to support people who care for animals through affordable veterinary care and a variety of other programs,” explains Dr. Gary Weitzman, the League’s CEO. “And we now maintain a busy pet food and supply bank for those who struggle to care for themselves and their animals. The assistance we provide is especially critical during the holiday season, when so many could use a little extra help.”

Donations can be dropped off at The Washington Animal Rescue League, 71 Oglethorpe Street, NW, DC, during business hours. They may also be dropped off at the following businesses:

The Big Bad Woof, 117 Carroll Street, NW, DC, 202-291-2404
Doggie Style Bakery, 1825 18th Street, NW, DC, 202-667-0595
Chateau-Animaux, 524 8th Street, SE, DC, 202-544-8710
Pet Valu, 11229 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD, 301-754-3690
The Dog Shop, 1625 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, DC, 202-337-3647

I have to say that one of my most favorite things to do is to go to my local pet store and shop for cat beds, toys, food and maybe even a jaunty little doggie coat for Presents for Paws. Just warms my furry little heart.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Diagnosis -- Old Age

So I went to my orthopedic doctor/surgeon today with my back/hip pain. He took down all my information and did a quick exam. I was lying on the table face up and he had me push down with my feet, then up. He then bent and raised each leg and manipulated it back and forth and up and down--no pain. He then pushed on my hips and around my (ample) stomach--no pain. He helped me to sit up and asked again--nope, no pain sitting up. He said I had good flexibility and mobility and decided to take a number of x-rays. He then walked me through the x-rays and told/showed me that I had arthritis in my lower spine. I saw how the space between the vertebra got much thinner farther down my back and how a few vertebra had these little bone spurs (arthritis) on them. (I guess I should consider myself lucky that there is nothing wrong with my hip). Alas, there is not much that can be done about it. He stressed exercises for the back and exercise itself to help strengthen my core. I will take a few PT sessions to make sure I'm doing the back exercises correctly. I REALLY need to get back into a walking program.
(photo courtesy of the internet)

While I'm happy for an explanation of the pain, I'm still frustrated by the daily pain. It's making Possumlady cranky. If you want proof of that, just ask my cats!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Just a Quick Note

To let you all know I'm still alive and well. Well, alive at least. This past Monday I strained my back just getting out of my car and it's kept me from doing pretty much anything this past week. I'm fine sitting down for 15-20 minutes. Any longer and I pay the price in pain in getting back to my feet. Then I hobble around for a minute before I can walk normally. Actually, I think it's my right hip. Since I'm not a "run to the doctor" kind of gal, I've decided to wait another week before thinking about going. (I mean it took me five months to finally go to the doctor about a pinched nerve in my neck!) Ice packs help, OTC pain meds do not. And, for some reason, it seems worse at work then when I'm at home. I think it's my office chair.

Anywho, not much else going on except busily preparing for yet another board meeting in January! I need to get everything done by December 18th as that is my last day in the office until the new year. Woo Hoo!!

Finally took Sweet Pea to the vet today. My vet was flabbergasted as he could no longer feel Sweet Pea's tumor either. He said he had absolutely no idea what it could have been but agreed that his constant scratching probably dislodged whatever it was. He even put his hands on Sweet Pea and talking in a loud revival voice yelled "HEAL ME SWEETPEA!" He took another blood sample to check his CBC then pronounced him well and sent us on our way.

Whoops! Just looked at the clock and I gotta get up from this chair! Have a great weekend everyone. Maybe I'll "see" you on Farmville or Facebook. That seems to take up most my computer time lately.